What Does Common Defense Mean? All You Need To now

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This phrase is found in the United States constitution Preamble. In most nations, the government has to provide safety to its people. 

Throughout history, it’s evident that people believe in the governments that keep them safe and other things.

The United States national government has achieved this through the implementation of NDAA. NDAA is the National Defense Authorization Act.

It was first passed in 1961 to oversee the defense budget. It offers recommendations of agencies responsible for defense and sets policies that guide spending.  Here is the perfect definition of the common phrase.

What Does Common Defense Mean?

The phrase means the government must protect its properties and citizens. The federal and individual states have no power whatsoever to perform this function. 

Therefore, providing common defense is one of the major duties of congress. The US government has successfully achieved this, considering the few to no cases of insecurity.

How United States Government Provides For The Common Defense

Since the forefathers’ pen wrote “providing for the common defense,” congress has done its best to ensure this. 

It has actively and intentionally prioritized the safety and security of the American people. Here is how. 

1. Combating Violent Gangs

Violent gangs have become a thing in the United States. They control most of the suburban parts of the United States. 

The gangs are responsible for various atrocities: from selling drugs to the killing of innocents. The US government has invested a lot in fighting these gangs. 

Congress has passed “The criminal Alien Gang Member Act” to reduce gang violence. It stops unlawful immigrants that propagate criminal activities from getting benefits like protected status or asylum. 

It has passed laws that prevent gang members from entry to the country. Gang members can be subject to deportation. 

In line with common defense, different congresses have passed bills that ensure the safety and security of the American people.

2. Rebuild Of the Military

The military is one of America’s most valuable assets. As a result, the United States is one of the nations that spend lots of money on national security. 

The defense department has an approximate budget of $ 649 billion. This is much more compared to the combined budget of the seven largest militaries in the world.  

Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, and India have the largest militaries, and their combined budget is $609.

However, the huge budget can be justified. The government has ensured its servicemen are well paid, trained, and offer the best resources. 

With increased threats, there’ll be a need for modernizing facilities, planes, ships, weapons, and many more. This means the blossoming of the budget. 

However, for the United States government to ensure the safety of its citizens, it has to ensure proper financing of national security. 

3. Combatting Terrorism

The United States has been at the forefront when it comes to fighting terrorism. It has steadily stood against enemies who have intentions of splitting the nation. 

Moreover, the government has ensured that its citizens are ready for any terror threats. In 2017, it passed the “Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop Series (JCAWS).” 

The bill is to help the local jurisdictions and the state prepare, protect and respond to any terrorist attack.  

In addition to “JCAWS,” the government ensures local governments are well equipped and trained. 

This will help them protect communities under their legislation. The training also includes the incorporation and integration of intelligence at every level. 

They recently passed the “Tracer” act to solidify the fight against terrorism. Tracer requires local and state enforcement agencies to be notified about releases of prisoners convicted of terrorism. In addition, the agencies will be able to monitor these individuals.

The bill gives agencies from different levels the chance to work together. With such useful information, the agencies can work efficiently in the bid to protect the Americans.  

Threats To National Security

The United States government faces several security threats. The threats include infiltration from terror groups, aggression from neighboring countries, etc. 

The field of national security works tirelessly to combat such terrors. However, it doesn’t deal with only protecting the citizens but also the nation’s economic stability. 

In the United States, the national defense has been at the forefront.  The major role of national security is identifying potential dangers and giving the best response. 

National Security Threat

It’s anything that threatens the well-being of a country’s citizens or negatively affects the stability of a nation’s economy. It has been broken down into subgroups. 

1. Terrorism 

The largest terror group that the US government has been fighting for years is ISIS. Mostly the groups do not belong to certain countries. 

However, they might be sponsored by foreign powers and people. In addition, terrorists are known to cause chaos, physical harm, or even cyber-crime. 

2. Cyber Crime

Some cybercrimes are initiated by terrorists or enemy governments, while individuals propagate others. Regardless, online criminals are considered dangerous to national security. 

Most online crimes are hacking government websites, economic institutions, and many more. They do this to steal or extort money. Otherwise, cyber-crime can be used as a tool to advance an ideology.

3. Hostile Governments 

The United States has a lot of enemies. The national security threat from hostile governments can be in the form of direct attacks and aggressions.

However, it’s not just wars about wars. It includes things like election interference etc. Such espionages are very hard to detect.

4. Proliferation  

Insecurity and enemy state doesn’t have to make direct attacks to be considered a threat. However, in the idea of proliferation, things such as weaponry are taken into account. 

Enemy states that manufacture and stockpile chemical and nuclear weapons are considered threats. 

This is because they tend to make a weapon with capacities to cause major destructions. Even if they do not use those weapons, they cannot be trusted and closely monitored.

National Security Threats And How Government Protects Its Citizens

1. Cyber terrorism

Cyber terrorism has become a thing in many countries—one of the most recent countries to be affected by cyber terrorism is India.

In 2020, terrorists targeted a group of human rights activists. Their computers were infected by malware. Also, two European defenses suspect North Korean hackers compromised their system.

Cyber terrorism has been categorized into three: 

  • Complex Coordinated Attack – It targets the largest group of people. A terrorist employs hacking tools that are highly advanced. They intend to cause mass disruption.
  • Advanced Structured Attack – The terrorist does have multiple targets on thought. The attack is well planned and sophisticated.
  • Simple Unstructured Attack – It’s perpetuated using basic hacking tools made by someone else. It aims at a single target.

Protection against cyber terrorism

The United States government has taken multiple precautionary measures. The US defense carries a survey on every cybercafé activity. 

It identifies and makes a list of potential threats. Sanctions can be authorized on nations that carry out cyber terrorism against it.                                                                                             

2. Biological Warfare 

Many diseases spread naturally, but some may have been as a result of hostility or malignancy by other nations. 

In recent years there haven’t been cases of biological warfare. However, history suggests that biological weapons can be developed to cause widespread terror. 

Biological warfare is a huge threat to a nation’s security. The United States government has put several measures in place to prevent such attacks.

How US government protects its citizens 

The US government has done a lot to ensure its citizens don’t suffer from biological threats. It has put many policies in place. Some of the approaches are:

  • The government gives huge funding to the health department, and this helps to build better wards. The money is also used to stockpile medications and treatment.
  • It has financed the building of greater laboratories that carry out various tests in rumors about biological warfare.
  • It has passed laws that prohibit anyone from having possession or hazard that can be used to develop biological weapons.

It has built better training facilities to offer training to medics and other public health workers.

3. Targeting US government

Some foreign powers or sponsored individuals make coordinated attacks on the United States government, agencies, corporations, or persons. 

It mostly targets US information or facilities or personnel at US defense, US foreign affairs, and intelligence community.

4. Economic Espionage

This is another attack targeted at the US government or agencies. The activities target to get sensitive financial information from the government. 

At times they target to get critical technologies or influence sensitive economic policy decisions. Such actions do have various effects on citizens of America.


Every country faces threats; the United States is the one nation that has several enemies. To protect its people, the government has put measures in place. 

Through national security, they identify and quickly deal with any issues. This ensures peace, the safety of the people, and government stability.  

However, as a citizen, you should take care of yourself first. Notify the authorities if you notice anything suspicious. 

You can also join various security departments such as the army to help keep your country’s peace afloat.

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